The other day I witnessed something that made my mind swim temporarily. Surely I'd blacked out and had a Twilight Zone experience. That's the only logical explanation. Before I tell you about this I'd probably better play a flashback to a different time...
As we've discussed before I was a fairly unruly kid. I'd pretty much raised myself until I was about 12. Even so, I knew certain things to be absolute truths. I'd seen them in practice and knew the benefits. I'd seen other kids out with their parents and saw how those kids treated their parents and other adults with some modicum of respect. Periodically I'd seen them start to mouth off and catch a whack to the head. Even with my own parents and other elders I knew to keep myself reined in. Self preservation being a strong motivator and whatnot.
Then we have recent times. Here I am witnessing a kid of about 10 telling, what I presume to be his parents, that he wants a new iPad. The word "new" indicated to me he already had one. Lucky bugger. I've got what is basically an etchasketch with tin cans on string. My internet connection is clearly "sketchy" at times. (Sorry, that pun was irresistible).
The fact he wanted one didn't surprise me. The fact he practically demanded one did. Here we are at the mall and this kid starts berating his dad when he was told "not right now". Seriously?! Even I wanted to smack this kid. He's yelling and cussing and making "spoiled brats" look like monks.
Once they finally got "Lucifer's mini me" calmed down (yes, I think there was Holy Water involved) I got to thinking and paying attention to people. Which is probably not something I should do because I end up writing these posts. By the way, going to the mall, for me, is the equivalent to most people going to the zoo. So I decided to think of it like a field trip to the zoo. Here's what I observed...
At the food court I stood in line to buy a straw. There were three animals ahead of me and they all ordered in a similar fashion. Which was "gimme a number XX", "I want ___", "I'll take ___". So on and so forth. When it was finally my turn at the register I said "yes, I'd like to buy a straw please". I got a quizzical look and "um, you want something to drink?". No, thank you, just a straw. "Did you want something to eat?" Good grief, how hard is it to buy a straw? "No. I really just want a straw. Thank you for offering though." Maybe he thought I was homeless and wanted to feed me. He directed me to where the straw dispenser was located. I left fifty cents on the counter by the register and headed over to get my straw.
On my way to the straw armory I looked around at the tables. There were animals eating and there were signs of other animals having eaten. The feeding area was littered with tables that held trays of wrappers and partially eaten foodstuffs. Messy creatures, these things. A scant 3 feet from a waste receptacle was a trash laden table. Perhaps an animal had eaten there that lacked the ability to throw away their waste. Was it an armless animal? Maybe it had eaten its fill and was so full it could barely muster the energy to make it back to its den? Dunno. I wished I could spot this mystery animal.
Fortunately, the keepers were diligently cleaning up after "messyosaurus". Clearing tables and throwing away trash I could almost hear them cursing the animals. I didn't have time to loiter; there were more animals to go see.
I wandered toward an exhibit called "Hot Topic". That sounded interesting. Along the way I noticed more animals walking around talking on cell phones. Some must have had trouble hearing for they were talking quite loudly. Oh, the fun conversations they must've been having. Apparently, though, these creatures lack the ability to speak and focus on walking at the same time because I witnessed plenty of them nearly running people over as they walked. And there were 2 speeds to these things, like 2 completely separate groups of animals. Since they weren't labeled I called them "meanderers" and "sprinters". There was no in between speed. And every animal seemed oblivious as to whose way they were in.
Once I arrived at the "Hot Topic" my senses were all assaulted at once. There was a cacophony of some mating call over the speakers, oddities walking around with more metal than robots and clothing with sayings I can't repeat without blushing. Surely this was the "wild animal" exhibit. It frightened me.
I quickly departed before determining if they were carnivorous. I needed to seek safety. Then I heard it again. "Gimme that jewelry right there. And I'll take that one too". It seems that's the common vocabulary.
That's when I realized why little Damien's behavior was the way it was. It's not his fault. It's these animals' natural speech. No longer do they say "please", "thank you" or any of the other polite words and phrases they used when I was a kid.
When I was growing up I had noticed that the elders of the pack were able to discipline the offspring. Maybe they can't do that anymore. So rather than evolve into good elders they just learn that it's ok to terrorize other members of the herd with rudeness and loud speech. Maybe the elders grew weak and lazy. I'll have to look into this farther. Just at that time my alarm went off telling me it was time to return to the Asylum. They would be locking the doors soon because dark was coming. I couldn't afford to be locked out overnight and left here with the animals. I hurried out to return to the Sane Asylum. No way was I going to be left here with these crazy animals.
On my way out I pondered. What happened to our polite society? Where did we go wrong? Why are all these animals so self-absorbed they can't even clean up after themselves or treat each other with respect?